Minatare wrestlers work on mental strength, prepare for state
     2013-12-12      By Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn    laurensmithkuckkahn@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn/Gering Citizen - Members of Minatare’s wrestling team this year are front row from left Mario Sanchez, student manager; Marc Cinocco, Jerrick Ross; back row, Caleb Ross, Destin Standley, Josh Cinocco, Rome Lerma and Robert Ellis. 
It is a seven-man team this year for the Minatare High School wrestlers, after two lean years with low participation.

Gage Norman, head wrestling coach, said there is a mix of experience and untested promise, with three upperclassmen and four freshmen students on the team.

Upperclassmen wrestlers are: juniors Jerrick Ross, 126 lbs., and Marc Cinocco, 132 lbs.; and senior Robert Ellis, 138 lbs. Freshmen wrestler are: Destin Standley, 138 lbs.; Josh Cinocco, 145 lbs.; Caleb Ross, 150 lbs.; and Rome Lerma, 195 lbs.

Norman said Lerma was previously wrestling at 220 lbs., but they are working on getting him to a lighter weight. He said with experience, work, and confidence, the freshmen wrestlers should start to see results in their performance.

“They all show promise. It’s always tough for a freshman, especially in the bigger weights,” he said.

Norman said confidence is a big factor in determining the wrestlers’ success.

“I tell them, if you hold on half a second longer than the other guy, anyone can win a wrestling match,” Norman said.

The upperclassmen wrestlers are setting their own goals, some with state tournaments in mind.
“Marc is a returning state qualifier,” Norman said. “Marc’s main challenge is to get better and return to state.”

“Jerrick could make it if he buckles down. He had an arm injury last year that forced him to sit out the season,” Norman said.

While individual teammates are working on their personal strengths and weaknesses, the team is also focused on developing its core spirit.

“Each one has an individual strength, but as a team, it goes back to our motto, ‘Respect all, fear none.’ It’s the mental strength to know we’re as good as anyone else, and to never stop until the whistle blows,” Norman said.

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